Family of philanthropist Lewis Katz files wrongful death suit


(JTA) — The family of philanthropist Lewis Katz, who died in a private plane crash in Massachusetts, has filed a wrongful death suit in Boston against the plane’s manufacturer.

Katz’s two children filed the suit against Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.  and eight other parties last week, the Boston Globe reported. Among the other parties are the estates of the two pilots, who also died in the crash.

Katz, a co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer who was a major giver to Philadelphia-area charities, died in May 2014  at an airfield near Boston after the Gulfstream IV plane he was riding in with six others crashed following takeoff from Hanscom Field.

The eight defendants “caused the (crash) by their negligence and … by manufacturing and/or designing a defective product,” the complaint states, according to the Globe.

The National Transportation Safety Board found the probable causes of the crash were “several errors by the flight crew and problems with the design of the aircraft, specifically the gust lock,” Matthew Brelis, a MassPort spokesman, told the newspaper. MassPort operates Hanscom Field.

Katz grew up in Camden, New Jersey, near Philadelphia, where he concentrated his charitable giving, including to two Boys and Girls Clubs, the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, Congregation Beth El, Temple University and to the Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill, which is named in memory of his parents.

Katz, who attended Temple University, is a former owner of the New Jersey Nets professional basketball team and the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils.

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